Mom Kyla matures as an artist
The last three years have been nothing short of “life-changing” for R&B artist Kyla.
She married basketball player Rich Alvarez in 2011 and had her first child Toby Elsiah two years later.
Though singing had to take a backseat to family life, Kyla said she had no regrets.
“I needed to take some time off to take care of my son, but I enjoyed the break. I was able to watch him grow up,” Kyla said in a recent interview for her latest album, “Journey” (PolyEast Records). “It was a different and fulfilling experience.”
Being a new mother, the 33-year-old singer-songwriter said, helped her become a more mature person and artist.
“I feel that I’m a lot more sensitive now when singing songs, especially those I wrote; things are more heartfelt,” Kyla said. “Maybe it comes with being a parent, a wife.”
Kyla, who shot to fame in 2000 with the wistful piano ballad “Hanggang Ngayon,” said she was more aware now of the message her songs conveyed. “I want to record songs that will inspire kids and encourage them to sing and write,” Kyla said.
During her pregnancy, Kyla occasionally got the blues as she thought about performing onstage. “Sometimes I felt down and just wanted to sing or release an album [so] I poured my energy into writing songs,” said Kyla, who felt she had turned into a more assertive songwriter over the years.
The Kapuso star wrote two original songs for her new six-track record—“Journey” and “I Got This.”
She said, “‘I Got This’ is my way of telling women that, whatever they’re going through, they’re going to emerge on top. ‘Journey,’ on the other hand, is about my experiences and all the changes in my life.”
Asked if she thought about composing a song for her son, Kyla said, “I tried to, but it was so tough because of all the emotions inside me.”
Although she was best known for soulful, pop-R&B songs, Kyla said she always wanted to try other music genres. Her carrier single, “Kunwa-Kunwari Lang,” for instance, had a touch of jazz, she said.
“I want to venture into jazz or [other genres]. But, of course, I can’t go all the way since my listeners still prefer pop tunes,” she said. “I look forward to collaborating with other artists because we end up producing something new and fresh-sounding.”
In Kyla’s latest and 10th album is the ballad “My Heart,” penned by international singer Brian McKnight.
The song was McKnight’s wedding gift to Kyla, who told reporters she had been keeping in touch with the American musician. She said McKnight was one of her biggest musical influences.
“He tweeted about me being a good singer a few years back, and we have been exchanging messages ever since,” she said. “We were actually supposed to meet in January in the United States to record ‘My Heart,’ but… he was still on tour in Europe.”
The two ended up recording the song separately. “We mixed it together, but it came out really well.”
Having been in the industry for almost 15 years now, Kyla hoped to celebrate the milestone with a concert. Asked what the secret was to her survival in the industry, she said it was probably her drive to continue making new music.
“It’s also important to keep your feet on the ground. When you let success go to your head, that could cause your downfall,” she said.
Kyla is in the cast of the afternoon GMA 7 soap “Villa Quintana,” which ends today.